Johnson Controls is committed to transforming the environments where people live, work, learn and play. From optimizing building performance to improving safety and enhancing comfort, we drive the outcomes that matter most. Johnson Controls hired Gensler to design a new headquarters for its Asia Pacific Region in Shanghai. The 44,000sm building is located at Changning District and is situated along Suzhou Creek. The building incorporates Johnson Controls’ advanced smart building products and technologies, including HVAC, controls, security and fire protection, and to vision the future of smart buildings, cities, and communities.
▼项目鸟瞰图，aerial view ©Blackstation
江森自控和Gensler为该项目设定了高标准的可持续性目标，这是中国首座获得三项可持续认证的建筑，包括美国绿色建筑协会LEED（能源与环境设计先锋奖） 新建建筑铂金级认证、中国绿色建筑设计标识三星级认证和IFC-世界银行EDGE（卓越高能效设计）认证。与当地市场标准相比，这座建筑预计节能可达到44％， 节水42%和节约材料中的物化能源达到21%。
Johnson Controls and Gensler set high sustainability goals for the project which has resulted in the first building in China to receive all three top sustainability certifications; USGBC LEED Platinum, China Green Building Design Label Three Star Certification, IFC-World Bank EDGE (Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies) Certification. The building is expected to generate 44% savings in overall energy consumption compared to the local market standard. Water usage reduction is expected to be 42% via its graywater recycling and storm water recapture facilities. Embodied energy in materials is reduced by 21%.
Johnson Controls and the design team were interested in exploring how the building could also promote an equally important goal which is building well-being design. The Gensler team focused on three aspects of building well-being design; daylight and views, access to usable outdoor space and creating socially connected spaces. Each of these features has implications for the form of the building in addition to the façade design.
▼建筑外观，exterior view ©Blackstation
▼庭院视角，view from the courtyard ©Blackstation
Reconnecting with the Urban Fabric
Once heavily polluted and used primarily for industrial purposes, Suzhou Creek along the north side of the building is now being embraced as an urban asset, and significant government resources are being employed to clean the creek, restore natural water features, and provide public access. The Gensler design team saw this as an opportunity to connect urban life to nature, lifting the entire north wing of the building to create a green walkway that connects the site to a new system of public riverfront park.
This design solution created public access to the park, provided an expansive outdoor setting for staff and the public, and offers people daily interaction with nature in one of the densest urban centers in the world. Lifting the building’s north wing six meters above grade with 18-meter structural spans was a significant investment beyond a conventional structural solution, but the design team and Johnson Controls understood the difference this gesture would make for the neighborhood. The importance of community connectivity especially to natural waterways and landscapes is an aspect that future urban environments will embrace as they seek to enhance the quality of life and maintain the ability of people to move freely.
▼延伸的室外环境，an expansive outdoor setting ©Blackstation
▼入口立面，entrance facade ©Blackstation
▼抬高的建筑北翼，the lifted north wing ©Blackstation
▼抬升的体量在下方形成连通的空间，the space brought by the lifted volume ©Blackstation
Daylight and Views
▼体块生成示意，massing diagram ©Gensler
The site for the Johnson Controls Shanghai building is very narrow and has a 24-meter height restriction due to its proximity to Hongqiao Airport. This presented a unique challenge: how to create a sense of community on a linear site while optimizing floorplate efficiency. The solution was to create two long rectangular buildings to maximize daylight and views. The narrow floor plates helped bring in natural light. The window-to-wall ratio was capped at 47% glass and 53% opaque with a highly insulated metal panel system.
▼两个长矩形建筑的体块布局能够使采光和视野最大化， two long rectangular buildings was created to maximize daylight and views ©Blackstation
▼立面细部，facade detailed view ©Blackstation
▼狭长的楼板平面，the narrow floor plates ©Blackstation
▼立面细节，facade view ©Blackstation
Socially Connected Space
These separate buildings were bent in opposite directions and then joined together, creating a large atrium in between that serves as a central community gathering space. Open circulation paths surround the atrium and each floor is linked by staircases to provide a platform for cross-community connections, chance interactions, and physical activity. Research links these conversations across departments and business units to increased productivity and innovation, a hallmark of Johnson Controls’ approach to progressive engineering solutions.
▼中庭，central atrium ©CreateAR
Access to Usable Outdoor Space
▼露台与庭院，terraced balconies linked to the Canteen courtyard ©Blackstation
▼庭院，Canteen courtyard ©Blackstation
▼休闲区水景，the water feature ©Blackstation
Distributing accessible and usable outdoor space throughout the building both at ground level and above gives employees choice in where they work—focus areas, places for collaboration, and options for a change of scenery—not to mention the connection to green space many residents of large cities often lack. Each floor has a terraced balcony where people can work outdoors or take a break. These build to a large two-level outdoor roof deck where casual gatherings or formal group meetings can occur. At the ground level, an outdoor Canteen courtyard off the dining area connects to a park along the adjacent Suzhou Creek. This outdoor retreat includes a water feature and is visually linked to the terraced balconies. The sum of these areas is a network of distributed, usable and flexible outdoor spaces which serves as a productivity and well-being catalyst.
▼学习与发展中心，learning & development center ©CreateAR
▼办公空间，office area ©CreateAR
▼室内空间，interior view ©CreateAR
▼多样化的协作区域，the various communal area ©CreateAR
▼办公楼入口，main entry ©Blackstation
▼建筑外观近景，facade view ©Blackstation
The Johnson Controls project is a letter from the future that provides a platform for understanding how our priorities for work environments are shifting to reconnect with the urban fabric, emphasize social connections, and reintroduce daylight. Access to daylight, views, and social connectivity require new levels of capital investments — as well as progressive thinking on the part of public and private stakeholders. As architects and designers, we remain optimistic about our ability to positively affect the future of cities and societies.
▼整体夜景，facade night view ©Blackstation
▼食堂户外花园照片及细部，photo at canteen, plan detail and section detail ©Blackstation + Gensler
▼入口照片及细部，photo at entry and elevation ©Blackstation + Gensler
▼立面图、剖面图和剖面细部，elevation, section, and section details ©Gensler
▼阳台剖面及细部，section and section detail at balcony ©Gensler